Bully Blockers Ninja Camp and the Ninja Sleepover may be over, but we've still got tons of video and photos to share with everyone. We've already shared a few clips on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and you can see the rest by clicking the links below. The campers (and Instructors) had a TON of fun with physical and mental challenges, workouts, and a whole lot more. But it wasn't just fun and games! Here's how we spent our time at Ninja Camp 2019:
On Day 1, Campers learned about different types of bullying and how to identify bullying behaviors. Next, we discussed and demonstrated the steps that they should take if they are being bullied or witness bullying.
After a lengthy discussion about when it is appropriate to use self-defense techniques on another kid, the consequences they may face even if they are acting in self-defense, and the difference between defending themselves against another child versus defending themselves against an adult attacker or kidnapper, the kids split into groups and worked on techniques designed to stop someone who is trying to hit or push you, create space between yourself and your attacker, and defend yourself in a way that will let the bully know that they don’t want to mess with you without badly injuring them.
For a demonstration of the Bully-defense and de-escalation techniques we worked on, speak with one of our instructors.
On Day 2 of Ninja Camp, we switched things up, and the main focus of the day was “Stranger Danger”. We spent some time discussing who a stranger is, what a stranger can look like, and that not every stranger is a bad person, but you never know. We also discussed the things they can do to make sure they’re not easier targets for predators.
We always really try to stress to the kids that although knowing how to physically defend yourself against a bigger and stronger attacker is very important and could end up saving their lives one day, if kids find themselves in a position where they are facing an adult attacker alone, they’re already in extreme danger, and it is better to take the steps to avoid a situation like that than to just rely on their self-defense knowledge alone.
After we drilled the importance of being able to avoid and recognize dangerous situations with strangers, we taught campers some basic yet effective techniques, specifically designed for a child to use against a much bigger and stronger attacker. Before we began we also talked about the amount of control and force they should use when stopping a child bully versus the amount of force needed when trying to stop and adult.
Then it was time for the challenge and the fun. I think this is the most important drill we do in Ninja Camp. First, we drill a few different techniques with the kids, ones that have the power to stop an adult with less risk of the child injuring him/herself (we generally tell the kids not to use straight punches against adults because they run the risk of hurting their fingers and wrists, especially when punching upwards, or if they do not regularly practice Martial Arts). These include knees and kicks to the groin, palm and hammer strikes to the nose, elbow strikes, and strikes aimed at the eyes.
Next (this is the good part) we had one of our Brown Belt assistant instructors, Mr. Zach, wear what we call the “Bad Guy” suit. This protected his entire body and face while still allowing him the range of motion and flexibility to try and “kidnap” the campers on a one-on-one basis. The kids had to escape from the Bad Guy and get to the safety area before they could be pulled or carried to the “danger zone” (inside a car or building or somewhere that other people are not likely to be around to see or help them). The kids work on improving their power, speed, the accuracy of their kicks and strikes, and agility, but what makes this drill so important is that they are able to realize how helpless it feels when they have been picked up or have someone holding both of their wrists, and how they have to fight the urge to panic before they can fight the actual attacker. Many of them start off giggling and being silly until they see just how quickly and easily an adult could just scoop them up and take them away. It had a very sobering effect on them and by the second or third round, I’m proud to say that almost all of the campers were reacting and striking in a way that I believe could stop a predator!
I encourage parents to quiz the kids at home about what steps they can take to avoid dangerous confrontations with strangers, what targets they should be aiming for when fending off an adult attacker, and have them demonstrate for you some of the kicks and strikes they learned to be used against adult “Bad Guy”.
After all that hard work of practicing kicking and striking and fending off attackers, the kids got to cool off with some water balloon target practice on a "Bad Guy" target that they designed together earlier in the day, followed by a good old-fashioned water balloon fight!
And finally, on Day 3 of Ninja Camp, we honored the longtime tradition of heading down to the beach for some fun in the sand! Kids started off with a group workout and stretches in the sand, then reviewed the kicks, strikes, and combos they learned in the previous two days of Ninja Camp. Later, the campers got to play dodgeball, Capture the Flag, had a sandcastle-building contest, and participated in tons of other games and challenges that help instill in them the importance of teamwork, communication, cooperation, sportsmanship, and friendship. We ended the day with a beach picnic and an epic water war!
All of the students who completed the Bully Workshop on Day #1 and the Kidnap Challenge on Day #2 received their awesome Ninja Camp patches. Campers who demonstrated extra effort and focus were also awarded "Awesome" stickers which granted them turns to spin the "Wheel of Awesome" on days 1 and 2 of camp.
To see all of the photos from Bully Blockers Ninja Camp 2019 and the Ninja Sleepover on our Facebook page, Click Here. While you're there, be sure and give us a "Like"! We've also got more video clips from camp, including the Kidnap Challenge, coming to our Instagram.
Aaaaaaand of course we had to go out with a bang! The Ninja Sleepover was as wild as ever with a pizza party, pinata, games, challenges, Space Dodgeball, and more fun than a barrel of ninjas! Kids also split into groups to create "public service announcements" to teach kids about bullying and stranger dangers. Around 12:45 am they rolled out their sleeping bags and settled in to watch some exciting movies together. What a great way to end another amazing week of Bully Blockers Summer Camp!
Remember to check out our Ninja Camp 2019 photo album on our Facebook page by Clicking Here, and to follow us on Instagram @ussdsc (Click Here) to see it all for yourself.
If you're interested in making sure your child is better prepared to defend himself/herself from bullies or child predators, or having fun and learning focus, self-control, responsibility, and respect while working towards becoming a Black Belt martial artist one day, see one of our Instructors to learn about the programs we offer and to schedule a free introductory lesson.
Registration for Bully Blockers Ninja Camp 2020 begins in February! Have a great rest of your summer vacation and we'll see you in the Dojo :)